This article is from the Scouting FAQ, by Bill Nelson email@example.com, Soaring Golden Eagle firstname.lastname@example.org and Alan Houser email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996
From: Alan Houser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Be judicious in your use of graphics, especially large ones. If
you have a lot of graphics in your pages, some people will have
trouble downloading them over dial-up lines. You may need to
provide alternate pages without graphics for such users. In
general, for large graphics (such as photos) you should indicate
in the text how large the file is so that the visitor can decide
whether or not to download it.
The single thing which slows page downloads the most seems to be
the use of background graphics, especially large ones. A small
graphic that is tiled seems to have less effect on download speed.
Another feature that seems to hold up page downloading is using a
web counter, a program that counts how many times a page has been
downloaded, that resides on a distant site. I have frequently
stopped downloads to find that everything on the page is fine,
except for the web counter, which is quite busy because many
different pages have linked to it & are trying to get an updated
count at the same time. If you want a web counter, try to get one
that runs only for your page.
Photo albums with pictures of your Scouts in action are nice, but be
sure to use thumbnails -- smaller versions of the pictures -- that
show the image in a reduced size and include a caption to suggest to
the visitor whether or not she/he might want to click on it to see the
full sized photograph. Or warn the visitor ahead of time that the
next page contains xxxK of graphics.
Also, don't use graphics as anchors for other pages unless you also
provide text anchors for those who cannot or do not download your
graphics. Use the ALT= option in IMG to specify a string to display
if the user is not receiving your graphics. There is nothing about
a string of "[LINK] [LINK] [LINK]" to suggest there is something
worth clicking on.
This is especially true if you use a clickable map. Without a set
of text anchors, some visitors will be unable to get beyond your
first page. One thing to consider is that many web robots will
not bother to index a page that has only graphics. If it doesn't
index your page, no one will find it.
The preferred graphics formats are GIF and JPEG. GIF works best for
line art and small objects, such as buttons for the visitor to click
on. JPEG is preferred for complex images, such as photographs.